Tweens Find a Safe Haven in DEN @ JYC
Singapore Children’s Society has launched its first drop-in centre targeted at those between 9 and 12.
DEN @ JYC, located in Jurong West, was officially opened on 20 July by Mr Desmond Lee, Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development, and Adviser to Jurong GRC Grassroots Organisations. It started taking in students from 29 March this year.
Den welcome: Twelve-year-old Md Rayyan (left), member of DEN @ JYC, presents a token of appreciation to Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development, Mr Desmond Lee (right), who was the Guest-of-Honour.
The centre provides pre-teens with a safe space to play, make friends, study and pick up new skills. The Society’s counsellors and social workers provide support and guidance, and are able to intervene early should there be any problems.
DEN stands for Discover, Empower and Nurture, the core principles that drive the centre’s programmes.
The vibrant centre, located at 554 Jurong West Street 42 includes a multipurpose hall, a playroom, a counselling room, and a kitchenette. It also has an Xbox ONE console with a selection of games that are appropriate for this age group, a variety of books, board and card games, sports equipment, outdoor toys, and a multi-game table.
Tommy Lee Jun Feng, 10, who goes to DEN @ JYC after school every day, said, “I enjoy playing the games here, such as the board games or pool. Sometimes I do my homework here as well.”
Already, DEN @ JYC has 79 young members. It has the capacity to cater to over 100 children per year.
Ms Tan Khiaw Ngoh, Chairman of Children's Society’s Social Work Service Standing Committee, says it is heartening to see how the young members have taken to DEN @ JYC, which she sees as a little different from traditional student care centres.
“DEN @ JYC runs a semi-structured programme for children, providing a blend of free-and-easy use and structured programmes for child development,” she explained.
She also thanked Mr Lee, his grassroots leaders and various agencies for supporting Children's Society’s efforts to provide more services for children in need.